July 10, 2014

‘They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full’ by Mark Bibbins

Posted on July 9, 2014 by in Poetry, Reviews

This is how it happens: I arrive early at the airport in Greenville-Spartanburg only to learn my flight is delayed. This small, homey airport feels like someone’s living room–with plush carpet and tall windows and lots of cushy chairs for semi-private conversations and prime storm viewing. I am traveling alone and haven’t eaten since breakfast, so I take a seat on a high bar-stool at Windows Restaurant–the diner side. A seasoned waitress, named Sandy, with a fabulous, frosted perm recommends the mushroom-swiss burger with all the trimmings. We get to talking. She grew up in south Florida near where I live now. “Sometimes I miss it,” she says, pouring my refills from waterfall heights. “But then of course, sometimes I don’t.” She seems like a very balanced person. (more…)

‘Positive Lightning’ by Laurie Salzler

Posted on July 9, 2014 by in Reviews, Romance

Positive Lightning (Blue Feather Books) tells the story of the intersection of two lives—both a little lost, both trying to find a way back to wholeness. Faith Hutchins is blind as a result of a recent tragic accident. The once independent, athletic woman has been reduced to activities tinged with a tentativeness that she hates. Twice before, she has signed up for the guide dog program to help her become more mobile, but both attempts failed, leaving her with only her white cane and a too-clingy ex-lover to help her get around. (more…)

‘Haffling’ by Caleb James

Posted on July 8, 2014 by in Fiction, Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus lives in the East Village with his family, attends Stuyvesant High School, and generally tries to keep his world from falling apart. Admirably, he has succeeded in doing so—until the morning his schizophrenic mother goes AWOL and misses her annual redetermination review with the Department of Social Services; unless he can find her, and convince the review board that she is at least minimally functional, both he and his younger sister Alice will be taken from her custody and placed back into foster care. Using the GPS on his cell phone, he tracks her to Fort Tyson, in the northernmost remote corner of Manhattan—and finds himself in another place altogether. And then Alex’s life really implodes. (more…)

‘Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders’ By Diane and Jacob Anderson-Minshall

Posted on July 7, 2014 by in Bio/Memoir, Reviews

Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders by Diane and Jacob Anderson-Minshall is a creative non-fiction account of Jacob’s transition from female-to-male, told from both Jacob’s perspective and his wife Diane’s. The book explores the many ups and downs of transitioning and the effects that can have on a relationship, identity, and for this well-known couple, the status of “professional lesbian,” as Diane puts it, in the publishing world. (more…)

‘Pissing in a River’ by Lorrie Sprecher

Posted on July 6, 2014 by in Fiction, Reviews

Amanda, the narrator of Lorrie Sprecher’s Pissing in a River, is a sort of human radio. The station format? Mostly British punk, with a little airspace left for guiltier pleasures such as Heart and Oasis. She interprets her life through lyrics—a Patti Smith song supplies the book’s title–and can barely go a full conversation without name-dropping a band or album title. We meet her as a college student on a study-abroad year in Exeter and check in with her periodically as she embarks on a career as an AIDS activist and Ph.D. student. (more…)

‘Nepantla’ Summer Reading Series

Posted on July 5, 2014 by in Events, Poetry

Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (being curated by Christopher Soto in collaboration with the Lambda Literary Foundation) will be hosting a Summer Reading Series in NYC this August. Below is information regarding event details. We hope to see you there! (more…)

‘The Possibilities of Mud’ by Joe Jiménez

Posted on July 3, 2014 by in Poetry, Reviews

The speaker in The Possibilities of Mud roots down and out in the Texas Gulf. He puts himself in league with the deer of the arroyos and the other animals in the world. “The cattle egret is a golden life as much as she is white”–each creature seems a lesson in how to let the world be enough. The speaker’s insistence on likening animal and human bodies is wonderfully devastating: in “By the Arroyo We Asked For Water and Survived” we begin simply with the speaker observing a coyote search for water, then comes the merciless sun on this tableau, all elements and creatures arranged in congress with each other, literally at eye level. The “us” in the poem’s final line, which names the coyote, the speaker and the mesquite pods, feels true to the poem’s world and the speaker’s want to value, to love, everything living. (more…)

‘Nightingale’ by Andrea Bramhall

Posted on July 2, 2014 by in Reviews, Romance

Charlie Porter is an out and proud young woman who’s delayed starting college to recuperate from losing her first love to tragedy. While auditioning for a place in a prestigious music program, Charlie has a chance encounter with Hazar Alim, a pianist and the accompanist for the program auditions. The title of this story, Nightingale, as Hazar reveals, comes from the translation of her name and is a symbol that will prove significant as the story unfolds. (more…)

‘The Padisah’s Son and the Fox’ by Alex Jeffers

Posted on July 1, 2014 by in Erotica, Reviews

Winner of the Lambda Award for Gay Erotica 2014

In the 1978 Oliver Stone film Midnight Express, a young American is sent to a prison in Turkey for attempting to smuggle hashish out of the country. I was thinking again about this dark movie as I was reading The Padisah’s Son and the Fox, a new erotic novel by Alex Jeffers, whose cinematic qualities would facilitate its own film adaptation. (more…)

‘A Room in Chelsea Square’ by Michael Nelson

Posted on June 26, 2014 by in Fiction, Reviews

A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson was first published anonymously in 1958. It was reprinted in 1986 by Gay Modern Classics and is now being re-introduced by Gregory Woods in a very recent—and very handsome!—reprint from Valancourt Books. All in all, a nice package: a contemporary gay poet who hails from across the pond introducing a novel by a bygone gay Brit. (more…)